Gas Well Blowout Forces Evacuation

Friday, April 29, 2011 @ 03:04 PM gHale

An investigation is continuing after a natural gas well blew out in a rural area of Lafayette Parish, LA, forcing the evacuation of more than 100 homes.

The incident began Wednesday just after 10 a.m. Precision Drilling owns the gas rig, and CEL Properties owns the well.

The cause of the major blowout remains unclear, but officials could see mud flying out from the well from at least a mile away. Strong winds carried small particles of mud several miles.

Natural gas was also spewing from the well. The smell of gas permeated the area for several miles, officials said.

Trooper Stephen Hammons, spokesman for Louisiana State Police, said the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality was monitoring the situation, but authorities did not believe the situation caused any health or environmental safety risks.

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